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Expat Exchange - Discover the Best of Vientiane 2024
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Discover the Best of Vientiane

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: Discover the charm of Vientiane with our guide to the city's top attractions, culinary hotspots, and vibrant nightlife. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, we'll also help you find the best recreational activities to enjoy, and offer advice on making lasting connections with the friendly locals.

Welcome to Vientiane! If you're planning to move to Vientiane, congratulations on taking the first step towards a new adventure. While there are many things to think about before you leave, such as visas, housing, and transportation, it's important to remember that once you arrive, the fun really begins. In this article, we'll introduce you to some of the best sites, restaurants, and nightlife that Vientiane has to offer, as well as provide tips on recreational activities and making friends in Vientiane.

Vientiane, the capital of Laos, is a city full of culture, history, and natural beauty. Tourists and locals alike can find plenty of interesting sites to explore. The most popular tourist attraction is the That Luang Stupa, a golden Buddhist temple that is the most important religious monument in the country. The temple is surrounded by a large park, making it a great place to relax and take in the beauty of the city. Other popular sites include the Patuxai Victory Monument, a war memorial that is a symbol of the country’s independence, and the Haw Pha Kaew, a former royal temple that is now a museum. The city also has several beautiful parks, including the Chao Anouvong Park, which is a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the scenery.

Vientiane is also known for its vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. Some of the most popular restaurants include Lao Kitchen, which serves traditional Lao dishes, and Lao Lao Garden, which offers a variety of international cuisine. For a more upscale dining experience, there is the Lao-French Restaurant, which serves a mix of French and Lao dishes. For a night out, there are plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. The most popular ones include the Sky Bar, which offers stunning views of the city, and the Vientiane Beer Garden, which is a great place to enjoy a cold beer and some live music.

When it comes to recreational activities, Vientiane has plenty to offer. Popular activities include golfing at the Vientiane Golf Club, which is one of the best courses in the country, and bowling at the Vientiane Bowling Center. For those looking for a more adventurous experience, there is the Vientiane Adventure Park, which offers a variety of activities such as zip-lining, rock climbing, and kayaking. For a more relaxing experience, visitors can take a boat ride along the Mekong River or visit the Buddha Park, which is a sculpture garden filled with Buddhist and Hindu statues.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

William RussellWilliam Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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Insider Tips from Expats in Vientiane: Making the Most of Life and Connections

"It all depends what you are interested in. For women there is WIG (Womens International Group) who do various activities. There are many sporting clubs (Rugby, Australian Football, etc). A volunteer group called Paws for Thought who focus on animal welfare in Lao. Most are advertised in the Vientiane Times OR on facebook/internet.," said one expat living in Vientiane.

"Expats in Vientiane often join clubs and activities such as the Vientiane International Women's Club, the Vientiane Hash House Harriers, and the Vientiane International School. Expats can also meet people by attending events such as the monthly Lao-German Networking event, the monthly Vientiane Expat Meetup, or the weekly Vientiane International Club. Additionally, expats can meet people by attending local festivals, visiting local markets, or joining a language exchange group," wrote a member in Vientiane.

William RussellWilliam Russell
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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

William RussellWilliam Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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"For Lao people, all of the above! For many foreigners here it's mostly spending time getting to know Lao, visiting its more popular places, socialising etc. It all depends on what you want to do and spend most of your time on. For my family it's sport, socialising and seeing what Lao has to offer," commented an expat living in Vientiane.

"Life for expats and digital nomads in Vientiane is generally quite pleasant. The city is small and laid-back, with a relaxed atmosphere and friendly locals. The cost of living is low, making it an attractive destination for those looking to stretch their budget. The city is also well-connected, with good internet access and plenty of cafes and co-working spaces. There are plenty of activities to enjoy, from exploring the city's temples and markets to taking day trips to nearby attractions. Overall, Vientiane is a great place for expats and digital nomads to live and work," said an expat in Vientiane.

William RussellWilliam Russell
Get Quote

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

William RussellWilliam Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
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